Sweets With a Surprise: 6 Recipes Perfect for April Fool’s Day
This April Fool’s Day, prove that sugar and spice really is everything nice by baking up a surprise. Out of any day of the year, April 1 has to be the day to expect the unexpected — but that mostly comes in the form of pranks and jokes. However, you can continue this in a new way by keeping everyone on their toes with baked goods! Whether it is turning a cake upside down or stuffing a cookie (you can take this trend to dinner, too) before baking, here are six surprising recipes just in time for April Fool’s Day.
1. Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes
An upside down cake fits the April Fool’s Day theme due to its inverted nature, but these upside down cupcakes from The Blond Cook are an updated twist on an old dessert too. The best part for you is that the recipe could not be easier, since it uses a mix for the base, and the cupcakes require no decorating.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dark rum
- 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, reserve juice for cake mix
- 12 maraschino cherries, sliced in half
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Reserved pineapple juice (should yield 1 cup of juice)
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 24 muffin cups. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and rum. Bring to a slight boil and cook for approximately 2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Spoon brown sugar mixture evenly into muffin tins. Place half of a maraschino cherry in the center of each muffin tin. Surround with chunks of pineapple.
In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pineapple juice, eggs, and oil on low speed for until moistened, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon cake batter over pineapple, filling almost to the top of each tin (about 7/8 full.) Bake 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center is removed clean. Immediately invert onto wire racks and allow to cool.
2. Chocolate Bar Stuffed Cookies
Cookies inside of cookies gets a lot of attention when it comes to recipes, but that isn’t the only possibility. Skip the cookie-Russian nesting doll effect and switch things up with a candy bar. You can use any mini candy bar you’d like, but The Kitchen Magpie used mini Kit Kats and Butterfingers. No mini candy bars on hand? Chop your favorite full-sized sweet into a bite-sized portion.
- 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Various mini chocolate bars such as KitKat and Butterfinger
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together your butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Beat in the flour, baking soda, and salt. When that is done, fold in the two cups of chocolate chips by hand and prepare to wrap chocolate bars!
Take a rounded tablespoon or two of dough and flatten it out. Place the candy in the center and wrap up around the size, encasing the candy in dough. The amount of dough you’ll need here will vary based on the size of the candy bar. Bake all the wrapped cookies until they are golden brown on the top, about 10-12 minutes.
3. Mango Upside Down Cake
Things are getting topsy-turvy again thanks to From Brazil to You. Even if spring hasn’t sprung by April 1, you’ll feel sunny and with this surprising, slightly sweet cake.
- 3-4 firm-ripe mangoes, peeled
- 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
- 1/2 stick (about 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup concentrate mango juice, mango nectar, or frozen mango pulp, thawed
Directions: For the topping, slice mangoes lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove flesh from the halves. Cut into half-inch slivers and place into a medium bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice (to give a touch of acidity to the cake and brighten the mango color) on top and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat, then stir in brown sugar. Simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Without stirring, let cook a little bit more until bubbles start to form around the edges of the mixture (i.e. the sugar begins to caramelize.) Spread mixture in the bottom of a buttered 9-inch round baking pan and arrange mango slivers on top in a rose pattern or any other that you wish. (Note: It is very important to fill all or most spaces; otherwise topping will not look as pretty as it could; mine did not have all the spaces filled because only 2 mangoes were used.) Then, set aside.
To make the mango upside down cake batter, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes.) Add the 2 whole eggs, one at a time, and then the egg yolk — beating after each addition. Beat in both the vanilla and yogurt.
Add half of flour mixture, beating at low speed until just combined. Mix in mango juice, then add remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Spoon the batter over the arranged mango slivers in the cake pan. Be careful not to disturb the mango pattern! Then, spread the batter smooth and even. Bake for 33-37 minutes (dark pan) or 45 – 50 minutes (shiny pan) or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. To unmold the mango upside down cake, run a thin knife gently along the edges of the pan, invert onto a platter, and continue cooling. If desired, garnish top of the mango upside down cake with pomegranate seeds (optional.) Serve mango upside down cake slightly warm or at room temperature by itself or with ice cream.
4. Surprise Inside Dotty Cake
This looks like your average bundt cake until you start slicing it up. Then, everyone will see unexpected pops of color as they realize there is a polka dot pattern inside. In Katrina’s Kitchen used a pre-made pound cake, but you could make your own if you desired to.
- 1 loaf mini pound cake
- food coloring
- 6 tablespoons white frosting
- 1 white cake mix
Directions: Cut pound cake into 6 even slices. Place a slice of pound cake, 1 drop of food coloring, and 1 tablespoon of frosting into your mixer or food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds. Repeat this step with 6 different colors. Use each color of batter to make approximately 6 cake balls (36 colored cake balls in total.)
Prepare your white cake according to package directions or according to your recipe. Pour a small amount into a well greased Bundt pan. Drop a few cake balls into the batter. Continue layering the cake balls and batter.
Bake according to package directions or recipe. Let cake cool completely before removing it from the pan. To remove the cake, place a large plate over the bundt pan and while holding the plate in place, invert the pan, then the cake should drop unto the plate.
5. Battenberg Cake
You might call it the original surprise inside cake, although that might be inaccurate. Either way, it certainly has historic roots. The Battenberg Cake was dreamed up for the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to husband Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. You can make your own version, following these instructions from AllRecipes.com.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 drops red food coloring
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Directions: For the cake, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt gently. Add milk if needed. Divide batter into 2 equal parts. Add food colouring to 1 part to make a deep pink color. Grease two 7-inch square pans. Spread batters into pans.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand in pans 5 minutes. Turn out on racks to cool. Trim edges from both cakes. Cut each cake lengthwise into 4 strips as wide as the cake is thick. Trim to make strips match. Heat jam slightly. Spread on sides to glue 2 pink and 2 white strips together checkerboard fashion. Spread all 4 sides of completed cake with jam. Repeat with remaining pink and white stripes. Makes two cakes.
To make the almond paste, mix almonds, confectioners’ sugar, egg, lemon juice, and almond extract together. Knead until smooth, adding a bit of lemon juice or water if too dry to roll. Add only 1/2 teaspoon at a time. It will be stiff. Divide into 2 equal parts.
Roll half of the paste 1/8 inch or so thick on a surface lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Cut to fit length of cake, and long enough to cover 4 sides leaving ends uncovered. Lay cake on one end of paste. Wrap to completely enclose all 4 sides of cake pinching paste to seal. Roll in granulated sugar. Place with seal underneath on serving plate, or store in plastic bag. Repeat for second cake. Chill. Slice thinly to serve.
6. Jam Donut Muffins
If you follow Lemon Drop‘s recipe, you’ll keep everyone guessing at what you made. It looks like a muffin, but tastes like a baked donut. Not only are looks deceiving, but there is a jam filling on the inside too. Feel free to dollop your favorite jam, jelly, or preserve in the center.
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups vegetable oil (neutral flavor)
- 2 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup jam (thick variety)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste (if using), sugar, oil, and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients blending until just combined. Do not overmix!
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Spoon a tablespoon jam on top of each muffin. Top with muffin batter filling to top of paper liners. Bake for 35-40 minutes, let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Prepare two bowls for toppings: one with melted butter, one with combined sugar and cinnamon. Dip warm muffin tops in melted butter then in sugar/cinnamon mix.